Asleep at the Wheel

Posted: April 17, 2011 in Health and wellness, Personal Growth
Tags: ,

Common sense is a cliché phrase that people use to brand “truths” that they understand; and believe that anybody who doesn’t know them are clueless and don’t have any common sense. These ideas are so self evident that they stand without supporting evidence.

A good example of common sense for me is that lack of sleep causes any number of mistakes and errors of judgments. The latest headlines regarding air traffic controllers going to sleep when they are on duty is an example of how “common sense” escapes those who ignore what seems to me much publicity about the importance of adequate sleep. I can remember bits and pieces of an article about sleep and its citing of Bill Clinton’s disclosure of the reason for the bags under his eyes: lack of sleep. The article goes on to blame his lack of sleep contributing to his lapse in judgment in the Monica Lewinsky debacle.

I can certainly understand how certain influences can cloud one’s judgment; but my own chronic short sleep pattern puts me on the alert to my fallibility… or not. The effects of lack of sleep are insidious. I am reminded of my bad choices that lead to unintended consequences almost daily. The other influences are noted by me when I analyze the reasons behind silly paths. I am not talking about paths to enlightenment – the frequent results of random rambling (a. k. a. serendipity). Actually I am a believer in serendipity. Good consequences have followed my rambling paths. Lack of sleep can spawn excellence in the arts and even sciences. But when it comes to tragedies following sleep-induced incompetence, there is no good resulting from any of them. You might argue that bringing to light the propensity for falling asleep by air traffic controllers is a good from a series of bad choices. I would counter that as an unnecessary progression from bad choices.

Maybe budgetary decisions are the main sources behind the tragedies in today’s news headlines. Repeated attacks on guards in prisons, alone without backup, follow budgetary decisions to short staffing levels. I will add these supporting my beliefs that government budget-cutting hawks are destroying our society.

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